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New York City Wine And Spirits Retailers Take A Stand Against Drinks-To-Go

February 28, 2022

What started as a lifeline to New York state bars and restaurants is turning into a high-tension wire for New York City’s wine and liquor store owners. Governor Kathy Hochul is pushing for legislation to permanently allow bars and restaurants to sell drinks-to-go to support on-premise economic recovery.

“When the former governor came out with cocktails-to-go, we had no problem with that,” says Jeff Saunders, president of The Retailers Alliance and owner of McCabes Wine & Spirits in Manhattan. “But it turned into bottles-to-go and anyone who had an on-premise wine and liquor license was now case stacking wine and liquor. The problem is all of those on-premise licensees have now turned into on- and off-premise.”

Drinks-to-go were a vital revenue stream for bars and restaurants during the pandemic. The measure was extended but ended last June. Drinks-to-go legislation was introduced last year but died in the state assembly. Some lawmakers accused wine and liquor store owners of using scare tactics against the bill. Market Watch has more

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